How To Launch Your eCommerce Idea
Recently I was interviewed by Vikki Bland from NZBusiness for an article on how to launch successful eCommerce ventures. People often think it’s easy to start up a
new eCommerce venture. While it may seem a simple idea, there are many
issues and areas that need to be considered. If I was starting a new
venture this is what I’d be thinking about. These were the key themes from the interview.
Before starting any new eCommerce venture it’s critically important to be very clear on it’s proposition. That is, what is the core offer or promise being made to the market? The tools and the skills are available now to really develop any new venture that can be imagined. What’s important though is to ensure there is a very clear and compelling offer. Is the offer really unique or is it just another Trademe or Social Networking site? If the venture isn’t sufficiently different from the other offerings it will be very difficult to build a business.
Once you’re clear about the proposition, think about how this can be communicated online. That is, can you get the essence of the proposition through in three seconds? Online everyone seems to have an attention deficit disorder, so get the message through, loud and clear, before your prospect clicks off to another site. Also remember content is king. The worth of the site will be judged by how the content is presented and how easy it is to interact with.
You’ll also need to think about how you’re going to build a community. Where are your customers going to come from; who are they, what do they do, where do they hang out now? People have a perception that online everything happens instantly, but like all marketing, it takes a little time and hard work to build loyal customer base. There are lots of online marketing opportunities so it’s important to be very clear about who the target customer is, so you can judge which opportunities are right.
It’s important to think about how to collaborate with your community. Consider how to incorporate customer reviews, blogs, podcasts, wikis or a forum. Web 2.0 features are hot right now. This is partly because the technology is maturing but also because people have an inherent desire to connect and share. By making it easy for customers to interact with you and share information with each other, your level of transparency and trustworthiness will increase.
Lastly this is a list of specific advice to think about before you go out and build a new eCommerce site;
So if you’re going to launch a new eCommerce venture, make sure you have a solid proposition, do your homework and stick at it, good things take time.InsideOut: Strategy, Marketing and Online Consultants
- Think about what you want to do, be specific and write it down.
- List all the functionality you think you’re going to need over the next two to three years and put that in your requirements. You might not launch with all the features, but it’s good to know these can be added easily at a later date.
- Draw rough line drawings of how you want the site to work. Don’t worry about the design, make sure the flow makes sense. Include these as part of the brief so that the developers know exactly what they are building.
- Ensure your site will be google (seo) friendly and don’t assume that the website development company will know how to do this.
- Get proposals from a number of people (three to five). You will learn about how they work and you might be surprised by the variety in prices.
- Before you launch test, test, test. Get people that have not been part of the project to complete two or three common tasks, watch them try to complete these tasks without helping! Note where they have trouble and then look to improve these areas.
Date Published: 25/03/2008